Wild plum’s probably my favorite this time of year- for two or three weeks they’ll throw white flowers against black branches and their ponderous scent will drift in from unkept fields and fencerows. A few twigs saturated with flowers bloom politely just over the back fence; I admire them and offer no quarter, knowing to conquer is their nature.
This gallery contains 9 photos.
This gallery contains 7 photos.
Water warms slower, and I know when I see the empty parking lot I’m early. Too early. The big, gravid females move first, and I’m still too early for that. Maybe the fish are stacked up at the mouth, waiting for the first warm spring rain to ascend. That doesn’t help me.
So I walk the banks and wade shallow riffles looking at the empty hulls of long dead freshwater mussels. They fish, too. These living stones house their young in envelopes of flesh that mimic prey, twitching them on the stream bottom, enticing fish to bite. The larval mussels clamp down on gills and fins, getting a free ride upstream or down. It’s as bizarre and fragile as anything you’d see in the Africa or the Amazon; Attenborough should narrate.
There’s a flock of twenty blackbirds high up in the locust tree, registering dissent with the sloppy wet snowflakes the size of one’s thumb.
It’s winter, and then it isn’t- because the robins are back, because in the morning the liquid call of a red-winged blackbird wakes you, as he perches where a bluebird sat only the day before.